Living With Someone with Depression

Depression can hit you gradually or it may take over you all of a sudden. You may find yourself under depression due to a change in body chemistry or because of certain life events. It can affect anyone regardless of sex, age, or financial condition. What you should understand is that it is an illness and requires treatment. Living with someone with depressionis never easy; in fact, it can be quite intimidating at times. You may really want to help the sufferer, but you need to know how to tackle the whole situation without getting hurt in the process.

Recognize the Symptoms of Depression

The most important thing you need to do is recognize the symptoms of depression. Most people do not even realize why people are behaving weird all of a sudden. The most common symptoms include the following:

  • Irritability with angry outbursts and frustration over small matters
  • Feelings of tearfulness, sadness, or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in normal activities, such as hobbies, sex, or sports
  • Trouble thinking, making decisions, concentrating, and remembering things
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness and focusing too much on past failures

In addition, insomnia, tiredness, anxiety, slowed thinking, unexplained physical problems, and recurrent mention of death are some other common signs that someone is under depression. The earlier you identify these symptoms, the easier it is for you to learn how to tackle the situation.

What Is It Like for Those Living with a Depressed Person?

“I believe you really need to be in love and show patience when you are living with someone with depression. Living with my boyfriend is definitely hard because he pushes everyone away when he is at his worst. Love and patience has made me think differently about our relationship and he now shares things with me I never knew of, and his honest confessions are making things better. He has also started trusting me more, which I believe is great for our relationship.”

“It is not easy, I must say. My boyfriend was so depressed that it made me cry all the time. What I believe everyone should understand is that putting someone who is already depressed under pressure about the relationship is only going to make matters worse. You should take a step back and take your time to decide what you want to do. Give them some space as well. Go out with friends but tell them that you are always available.”

How to Live With Someone with Depression

What You Can Do to Help

You will always have to deal with unexpected situations when living with someone with depression. Still, there are ways to help them.

  • Educate yourself about depression. Go online and read about it. Talk to their therapist. Do whatever you can to learn why someone finds him/her under depression. Learning the facts helps you understand how much patience you need to overcome this situation. You should also learn about things that help deal with depression, such as meditation, exercise, dietary changes, and natural remedies. Encourage your loved ones to try those remedies.
  • Understand where to draw the line. It is important to understand that someone you love is depressed and is now thinking differently, but that does not mean you should take up the slack on everything. Try innovative ways to improve things and prioritize your daily activities and responsibilities to manage things better.
  • Listen to what they have to say. Encourage them to share their feelings with you. The more they talk to you, the easier it becomes for them to trust you. Just be sure to listen to them without trying to give opinions or advice. Avoid making judgments. Being heard can work wonders for someone who is having a hard time get out of stress and depression.
  • Maintain a disciplined routine to create a low-stress environment. This helps someone with depression feel more in control. Lend a helping hand to make a schedule for medication, meals, sleep, and physical activities.
  • Do not shy away from using professional help. Offer your help to someone with depression to find a therapist or doctor. They are not in that kind of mental state when they can take the stress of choosing between options and making appointments, so your help will be valuable.
  • Always keep a close eye on someone with depression because there is always a suicide risk. Depression can distort thinking and cloud judgment. It can make a normally rational person to believe that death is the only way to get rid of all his/her pain and sufferings. When living with someone with depression,you should not leave them alone if you suspect a real suicide risk. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to discuss everything with a trained counselor.

What You Can Do for Yourself

Along with taking steps to help someone with depression, you also need to understand the importance of finding time for yourself. Here is what you can:

  • Take proper care of yourself. It is quite natural to forget about your own life when caring for someone with a mental illness. You have to learn how to balance your own needs with that of your loved one.
  • Make appointments and plans with your friends. Go out and have some fun. You need some time off and your loved one also needs some space occasionally.
  • Learn to be patient. It takes time to find the best treatment which requires trying out different options. In some cases, depression symptoms improve quickly after taking medication, while in other cases it takes longer for the effect to start showing. Being patient and not expecting the condition to fade away overnight is a way of showing your loved one that you will always be there for them.
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